blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Written on Thursday, 3rd December

Nächster Halt, Herrenberg ... Endstation. Fahrgäste bitte alle aussteigen! Ausstieg in Fahrtrichtung links.

Today Chris is giving his talk at the ESE-Kongress (Die Bayessche Darstelling eines Sicherheitsnachweises: Kann das uns helfen, den “Confirmation­Bias” zu vermeiden?) and I’m spending the day in Herrenberg, as recommended by my friend Annegret.

Sundial, Herrenberg
Carving in the choir stalls
Panel from the Mömpelgarder Altar (reproduction)
Old Herrenberg is mostly 16th century, with the Stiftskirche at the top of the hill, up many flights of steps. The influence of Martin Luther was very strong here. A lady got talking to me about the sundial painted on the wall by the church door. Her son had researched its history before restoring the signs of the zodiac painted on it, though someone else did the actual painting for him.  She was very pleased to find me taking an interest in this. Inside, the church had many 15th century carvings in the choir stalls, with expressive faces, as well as some examples of modern art. An organist was practising Bach. In the church gallery I found an exhibition about the Mömpelgarder Altar, painted in the 1540s, and now to be found in Vienna. The creator of the altar was born in Herrenberg.

The Herrenberg Christmas market wasn’t yet open or ready, but I loved seeing all the half timbered houses in these old streets. It is definitely not Canada, here. Cobbles underfoot, again. I explored some of the gift shops and drank Latte and ate a hot slice of Zwiebelkuchen topped with carraway seeds at a little pub called the Hirschstube, actually part of someone’s house, with the Altstadtbäckerei adjacent. Three pensioners at the next table were talking about aid for refugees and other immigrants, how they were getting help with their German lessons, comparing them with the Gastarbeiter of the 1950s and 60s. I had also read in the Tageszeitung im Kreis Böblingen (the Gäubote): Flüchtlinge [sind] hier kein neues Thema. Bereits 1950 hatte [...] 30% der Flüchtlingsanzahl im Landkreis. In 1992 the district had welcomed 50,000 refugees.

Zwiebelkuchen in der Hirschstube

Sindelfingen from the Marriott Hotel
I feel quite at home in Sindelfingen, know the short cuts over the Goldberg now, heard a cock crowing and remembered the vegetable garden behind the infants’ school. I discovered, from reading plaques made by Gymnasium Year 8 students on the platform at Goldberg station, that in 1525 this was the site of a terrible battle, a sort of Peasants’ Revolt on the Goldberg, the peasants having been stirred up by the ideas of Martin Luther.

My train rides to and from Herrenberg were both very peaceful. It is hard to remember the warzones of the world when you’re gliding through this peaceful farmland. By the end of the morning it was sunny weather. I took the path over the Goldberg in the other direction getting back to the Marriott around 4pm and watched the sun set over the industrial chimneys from our hotel room. Chris had to keep working till very late, so I bought myself a glass of rose wine and a portion of fries in the bar. We ate at the steakhouse associated with the hotel but repaired to our favourite watering hole in Sindelfingen, the cosy Faessle, at the end of the evening. Chris’ work for the week is still not done; he has another meeting at Filderstadt tomorrow morning, so I’ll be on my own in Stuttgart.

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